UNDP innovates to meet growing aspirations in Asia and the Pacific

(PRESS RELEASE) – The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has leveraged low-cost innovations, knowledge exchanges between countries in the region, and emerging technologies, to provide new opportunities to some of the most marginalized communities in the Asia-Pacific region, says its 2015-16 Results Report.

In breaking from traditional development models, and in trying to ensure that ‘no one is left behind,’ UNDP put sustainable development front and centre, in its country and regional development programmes, the reports says.

The agencies efforts are helping tackle some of the toughest development challenges in the region, including extreme poverty, unequal growth, rapid urbanization, and climate change,the report said.

The 2015-16 Results Report by UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific was launched today in New York, at the United Nations.

In addressing UNDP’s goal to help countries achieve targets of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Haoliang Xu, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director for Asia and Pacific stressed the importance of tackling the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and exclusion.

“We are partnering with governments to integrate the SDGs across their national development plans and investments,” Xu said. “And we are taking the lead in solving emerging challenges, and taking advantage of the data revolution to measure the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

UNDP’s global presence, experience and expertise has consistently placed it at the cutting edge of development innovations that can have a transformational development impact.

The report highlights how UNDP supported China to become the first G20 country to fully align its national development plans with the 17 goals, which world leaders adopted at the UN, in September last year.

Pakistan, Bhutan, Lao PDR and Tonga also feature among a list of countries that are working with UNDP to integrate ‘Agenda 2030’ into their national and provincial planning.

In Bangladesh, a pilot project by UNDP of a handful of digital centres for public services has been scaled up and now 5,300 digital centres dot the country. Those centres were accessed by nearly 216 million users, by the end of last year.

The report illustrates how UNDP partnered with Microsoft, after the Nepal Earthquake, to develop a smart phone app that monitored reconstruction in real time. For instance, it helped in tracking the demolition of buildings and the removal of debris, and ensured that people enrolled in a cash-for-work programme we’re paid promptly.

And Indonesia’s “Bring Water to Life” campaign used crowdfunding to provide a remote village with a solar power system, to pump clean drinking water.

“A powerful vote of confidence for our work comes from governments in the region,” said Mr Xu. “Increasingly, these governments are dedicating a growing share of their resources to partner in development work with us.”

During 2015-2016, UNDP received approximately US $116 million in co-financing from 17 Asia-Pacific governments.

In 2015, UNDP also became one of the first international organizations accredited as an implementing agency for the Green Climate Fund, which operates under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

With UNDP assistance, within a few months of the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Tuvalu and Viet Nam obtained more than US $120 million, from the fund to implement climate adaptations projects.

You can access the 2015-16 Results Report online here: http://on.undp.org/8lc

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